Dr. Steven Gill has been researching the benefits of Glial-cell line Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF) in PARKINSON’S DISEASE for many years.
Together with his team of researchers from Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, United Kingdom, he had developed a new implant device to deliver GDNF directly to the affected area of the brain.
GDNF has been shown to be an especially potent factor for dopaminergic cell survival and for improving motor deficits such as those seen in PARKINSON’S DISEASE.
Finding ways to deliver GDNF to the affected areas in appropriate ways has been the challenge
The new device developed by this team consists of a small port surgically implanted behind the patient’s ear.
From this port, a system of tubes connects to the basal ganglia and regulated dose of GDNF can be pumped directly to the brain once a month.
To date, six patients have undergone this treatment and the team is now recruiting 36 more patients for a new trial.
If this treatment technology proves successful and safe, many other neurological diseases will be able to benefit from this technique.
Review by Marcia McCall
review by Marcia McCall